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ACLU files appeal in case to delay California's recall election

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SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- The American Civil Liberties Union has filed an appeal with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in its bid to push back the date of the California recall election, now scheduled for October 7.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson rejected ACLU arguments that the use of punch-card machines in six California counties could result in errors that would disadvantage minority voters.

The ACLU has asked that the recall be delayed until March, to give counties time to put newer voting technology in place.

The organization filed its appeal Tuesday.

Wilson said last week that case law requires plaintiffs to demonstrate intentional discrimination in such a case, and said Californians have "a strong public interest in promptly determining whether a particular elected official should remain in office."

"The recall election in particular is an extraordinary exercise of public sentiment," Wilson said. Lawyers for the target of the recall, Gov. Gray Davis, also cited the punch card issue in a state court lawsuit seeking to delay the recall until March, when a strong Democratic turnout is expected for the state's presidential primary. The California Supreme Court turned down that plea.

Voters are scheduled to go to the polls October 7 to decide whether to recall Davis and, if the recall succeeds, to select a replacement from a field of 135 candidates.

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